It began to rain again as we made our final preparations, so rain gear was added to the mix - ponchos for Del and Frank, a parka and hat for me (packed at the last minute after checking the extended forecast), and a red umbrella for Bill. Soon we were off, trudging uphill through thick manzanita shrubs that hid our feet and whipped our shins. Frank's gaiters were a clear winner on this stretch, which ended at the two-mile mark. Here we met a trio coming out, ending their long trip under several days of rain. We plodded onward to the junction by Finger Rock, and rested at a meadow that provided us with a nice view of the granite spike. Two day-riders on horses pulled in, conversed with us a moment, then turned around, and we soon moved onward. Bill suggested a route change, so we turned left toward the Woodchuck Trail instead of aiming for Chuck Pass. Two more hikers drifted by with large packs: their plans had changed after two days of stormy weather, and they wished us better luck than theirs. The day dragged on with more showers and perpetual clouds, and when we reached the Chimney Lake junction it was clear that we'd be stopping very soon. We reached the lake and found a nice camp, complete with a large fire ring and even a horse-camp toilet a few minutes away. I wish I could remember more about this first evening, but clearly I was exhausted...
the fearsome foursome?
Dreary, pretty Chimney Lake